We know how hard it can be to find the perfect breast pump for yourself, especially when it comes to choosing between 2 reputable brands like Medela and Spectra. If you’ve already done some basic research, it’s likely that you would already have heard of them.
When looking for a breast pump, some of the more important aspects to look out for would be the comfort level, milk expression and convenience. On the technical end, here are also some points to consider:
|Breast Pump||Medela Freestyle Flex||Medela Swing Flex||Medela Swing Maxi Flex||Spectra S1+||Spectra S2+||Spectra S9+|
|Single/ Double Breast Pump||Double||Single||Double||Double||Double||Double|
|Electric Breast Pump||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Weight of Breast Pump||~270g||~300g||~290g||~1.2kg||~1kg||~240g|
|Battery-operated/ Electric||Built-in Rechargeable battery||Both (Choose one)||Both (Choose one)||Built-in Rechargeable battery||Electric||Built-in Rechargeable battery|
Above, we have simply summarized the features as well as pros and cons of the 6 breast pumps we’ll be comparing, namely, Medela Freestyle Flex, Swing Flex and Swing Maxi Flex, as well as the Spectra S1+, S2+ and S9+.
At first glance, the Medela Freestyle Flex, Swing Flex, Swing Maxi Flex and Spectra S9+ are on the lighter side, while the Spectra S1+ and S2+ tend to be a bit heavier. If you’re a busy mummy who needs to constantly bring your breast pump about for pumping on the go, weight is an important consideration. In this case, Medela’s Flex range would likely suit you better, especially Swing Flex as it’s a single pump and has lesser parts, making it smaller and easier to carry around.
For mummies looking to purchase breast pumps that are suitable for sharing, Spectra S1+ and S2+ would be the go-to choice as they are hospital-grade breast pumps. This means that they are made for use by multiple users as it has a closed system, which prevents backflow of milk into the motor which could cause cross contamination. The Medela Freestyle Flex and Spectra S9+ are good alternatives as well. Although they are not hospital-grade, they do also have a closed system.
If you are going for intensive pumping, say 10-12 times a day, Medela Freestyle Flex definitely takes the win for most-portable heavy duty pumping. Medela Swing Maxi Flex would be another good one to go for, especially if you’re not ready for the steep price tag that comes with its Freestyle counterpart. However, if you’re getting your pumping done at home and don’t mind something bulkier, the Spectra S1+ and S2+ gets the job done as well!
Most importantly, which brand offers a more comfortable pumping experience ? With Medela’s newest Flex technology, they have definitely stepped up their comfort game. Its 21mm and 24mm breast pump shields rotate 360°, have four tunnel sizes and a flexible rim, all of which are designed to adapt better to your shape. It also provides overflow protection (closed system) so that mums can pump sitting in a more comfortable position that works better for you. Compared to Medela, Spectra offers their standard 28mm flanges which may not provide as much comfort.
So, which is better? At the end of the day, it all comes down to your preferences and needs, and the most important thing is to choose your breast pump based on what suits you best. You could read up more about that here.
It is important to determine which factor matters the most to you. Is it a comfortable pumping experience or the portability of the breast pump? How often will you be pumping and where will you be doing it?
We understand that Medela breast pumps come at a hefty sum, and if you’re not ready to commit a small fortune on it, the Spectra ones do the job just fine. However, if price is not a concern and you’re looking for an overall well-balanced, heavy duty yet portable breast pump, our top pick would definitely be the Medela Freestyle Flex.